WESTFIELD Parish Council held its annual meeting for the people of the parish on Wednesday, March 27.

Speakers included the chairs of the parish council and its committees, Cllrs Phil Wilkinson, Diana Cooper and Robin Moss who gave an overview of the work of the Parish Council and plans for the upcoming year.

Miriam Woolnough from Somer Valley Rediscovered gave a talk about work at the Waterside Valley. There are more and more groups meeting to tackle things like mental health and physical fitness and awareness of the beauty of nature.

PC Paul Sheppard and PCSO Olga Hapov, of the Westfield community beat, attended and indicated statistics referring to policing in Westfield. Cllrs Eleanor Jackson and Robin Moss talked about their roles as B&NES councillors for Westfield and the parish.

Westfield Parish Council is in the process of updating its Neighbourhood Plan, which was reported on by Cllr Ron Hopkins. As part of this, a housing needs survey was sent out to all residents to identify the type of housing that is needed for the people of Westfield in future years. This document will help to formulate our update and be used in our response to planning applications in the parish.

A £100 ‘prize’ was won by three people picked at random who had completed the survey. The Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Phil Wilkinson, was pleased to award the prize in person to those who were able to attend the meeting.

The other big part of the annual parish meeting has become the award to Westfield’s Inspirational Citizen. Over the last few years, Westfield Parish Council has been celebrating those people who make a difference to the lives of Westfield people.

This year’s award goes to Sally Hicks, in recognition of her many years of fundraising for SWALLOW, the local charity that supports teenagers and adults with learning disabilities.

Her citation reads: “Sally is a parent of a SWALLOW member who has Down’s Syndrome, and has supported the charity for over 10 years - she is a fundraising extraordinaire. She has been organising an afternoon tea event at the Westfield Methodist Church as a fundraiser for SWALLOW since 2016. It’s always a popular, well-attended community event and raises more money for SWALLOW year on year, thanks to Sally’s efforts.

“Sally supports our community cafes, where our members train in catering and front-of-house skills, every week and she is an active member of the local community. Despite struggling with health issues, she continues to organise events and garner the support of the wider community on behalf of SWALLOW. “

Chairman of Westfield Parish Council, Cllr Phil Wilkinson, said: “From the information we have on this year’s winner of Westfields Inspirational Citizen award the winner is not only a credit to the SWALLOW organisation but also to the Westfield community. Sally is exactly what this award is there to represent.

Bev Craney, Chief Executive of SWALLOW, said: “We are so grateful for all the support that Sally has given to SWALLOW, she inspires us to do more”.